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Posted By Dr Abadir
May 22, 2013

RYE BROOK, NY, May 22, 2013 /PressRelease/ —Abadir Associates, a Westchester County cosmetic dermatology clinic that specializes in combining treatments for optimal results, is offering a new technique designed to smooth and thicken thin skin on the neck.  The practice has successfully treated multiple patients over the past year and seen dramatic results.

“Basically, [this approach] is for women who want to do everything but a neck lift,” says Westchester dermatologist Dr. Michelle Abadir of Abadir Associates.  “It allows you to add another method to thicken up the neck skin, which can be difficult.”  Normal aging may cause the skin of the neck to become thinner, bumpy, and nodular as well as to lose elasticity – thus allowing it to take on a “crepe-y” appearance.  By addressing these issues with one treatment program, she can offer patients a stronger result without needing to resort to surgical techniques.

The treatment program involves combining the dermal filler Sculptra with wrinkle-releaser Botox and skin-tightening treatment Thermage to combine the benefits of all three.  Additionally, Dr. Abadir is the only dermatologist who offers diluted Sculptra treatments for a significantly more natural result.  By diluting the injectable down to one-quarter its usual strength (and gradually increasing the concentration every few months as the treatment progresses), Dr. Abadir is able to combine Sculptra perfectly with Botox and Thermage.

The program can be customized to suit each patient, and many may choose to combine Sculptra with only Botox or only Thermage.  Dr. Abadir reports that her favorite treatment plan involves all three in a sequence designed to improve skin quality (this is an approximation of the schedule, individual needs may vary):

  • Week 1: Botox
  • Week 3: Sculptra
  • Week6: Thermage
  • Week 9: Sculptra
  • Week 15: Sculptra

Patients following this plan see thicker neck skin with less wrinkling and no nodules.  They also report high levels of satisfaction with their treatment and their results.

Dr. Abadir offers additional advice to her patients seeking to keep their skin healthy and maintain their treatment results.  “Anything you do – no matter what you do – a good skincare regimen should always include a retinoid, a c-serum, a growth peptide, and a zinc-based sunscreen.”

About Abadir Associates A leading cosmetic dermatology clinic in Westchester, New York, Abadir Associates provides a wide range of dermatological solutions – including injectables, skin tightening treatments, and innovative new approaches.  For more information, visit them online at http://www.drabadir.com/.

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Posted By Amanda Guerrero
March 1, 2013

Nintendo WiiPlaying video games might not be a complete waste of time – at least according to a study published in the online journal PLOS ONE. Researchers at the University of Rome in Italy found that training laparoscopic surgeons using on a Nintendo Wii™, in addition to their standard learning, could be “helpful, inexpensive and entertaining.”

For the study, the university’s Department of Surgical Science worked with 42 first and second year post-graduate residents, all specializing in general, vascular or endoscopic surgery. The participants were tested on a laparoscopic simulator in order to evaluate their performance on certain parameters. They were then randomly placed in one of two groups. One group received additional training with the Nintendo Wii™, and the other did not.

Training included playing Wii™ Sports Tennis, Wii™ Table Tennis and Battle. The games were chosen because they require high demands of:

  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Depth perception
  • Movement precision
  • 3D visualization

Surgical residents in the Wii™ group received training on the video game console five days a week for an hour each day. After four weeks, the participants underwent another testing session on the laparoscopic simulator. When results from the first session were compared to those of the second, researchers found that residents receiving training with the Wii™ showed greater improvement, particularly in performance metrics such as “economy of instruments movements” and “efficient cautery.”

With the study showing such positive results, other resident training programs around the world could notice and start implementing Wii™ training at their own facilities.

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Posted By Amanda Guerrero
January 31, 2013

EHR Health Information ExchangeWith the help of the United States’ first cancer reporting model, which sends patients’ electronic health record (EHR) data to the Kentucky Cancer Registry in real time, researchers now have access to timely medical data and statistics that can help spot cancer-related trends more quickly than ever before. According to a statement by Eric Durbin, the director of Cancer Informatics at the Kentucky Cancer Registry, “[The] project is laying the groundwork for electronic reporting not only in Kentucky but across the United States.”

The reporting module, which officially launched in October of last year, is a collaboration between the Kentucky Health Information Exchange, Regional Extension Center and Cancer Registry, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It was funded through the CDC as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Comparative Effectiveness Research activity, due to its ability to improve population health through disease surveillance efforts.

The database is made possible through the use of health information exchange (HIE), which allows for the secure transfer of clinical data between EHR systems and government databases. Many states are working on developing standard health information exchanges that allow providers to share data with government agencies at all levels, as well as other physicians using different EHRs. The ultimate goal is to have a national interoperable network facilitating health information exchange between providers and agencies in different states.

HIE is likely be an important tool for healthcare providers looking to participate in Meaningful Use stage 2 next year.

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Posted By Amanda Guerrero
December 12, 2012

Doctor using EMR softwarePrimary care providers (PCP) have implemented electronic medical record software at a higher rate than many other physician specialties, with 69 percent of providers using EMR software in 2012 compared with just 46 percent in 2009. The fact that EMR adoption rates have doubled in a three year period shows that PCPs understand the value of the software in improving care delivery and reducing costs. However, there are still improvements to be made. According to a Commonwealth Fund survey of primary care doctors in ten different countries, many providers still complain about not getting patient data on time from hospitals and specialists, hindering their ability to provide comprehensive care.

For the survey, researchers polled general internists, family practice physicians and pediatricians in the following countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Results were then compared to data collected from a similar survey in 2009. What researchers found is that, despite more doctors using EMR software, most physicians do not receive timely access to patient data after they are seen by a specialist, nor are they informed by a hospital when a patient of theirs is discharged.

Physicians in Switzerland were most likely to receive information from specialists when needed (27 percent), while those in the Netherlands were least likely to (1 percent). The U.S. landed in the middle of the spectrum and tied with Canada with 11 percent of doctors receiving timely access to patient information. “Lack of integration between primary care, specialty care, and hospitals can put patients at risk and result in duplicative care, particularly for patients with complex chronic illnesses,” said the paper published about the study in the journal Health Affairs.

As far as receiving notification from a hospital following a patient’s discharge, the average for the ten countries was 36 percent. The U.S. fell below the international average, with only 26 percent of physicians reporting that they always receive notification of discharge from hospitals.

This shows that there is still a lot of progress to be made with regards to the U.S. healthcare industry’s goal toward greater care coordination and patient-centered care. While EMR software can help physicians meet this goal, there are still some barriers, such as a lack of interoperability between electronic medical record systems. Vendors and health IT technicians will need to continue working on this flaw to ensure that the electronic exchange of patient information becomes an everyday occurrence.

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Posted By Health News Watch
November 26, 2012

neurosurgery new jerseyIt turns out that even mild brain traumas can have long-lasting impacts on the functions of the brain, neurosurgery NJ experts have recently found. MRI scans conducted by researchers at NYU’s School of Medicine have shown that the resting state functioning of brains that have suffered minimal trauma is linked to a variety of problems, including cognitive dysfunction, depression, anxiety and fatigue.

Researchers led by Dr. Yulin Ge found that people with such injuries exhibit increased “connectivity” in the front of the brain and decreased connectivity in the back compared with those who haven’t suffered harm. The shift in connectivity may reflect the brain’s attempt to compensate for the injury.

If the findings are confirmed through future tests, they will suggest that subtle, lasting effects of mild traumatic brain injuries sustained in combat or sports activities, for example, can go undetected in those who suffer them, leading to unrecognized and misunderstood personal and social problems.

“The abnormally increased medial prefrontal cortex usage over the long run …  might lead to persistent psychologic symptoms, such as the depression, anxiety and fatigue seen in these patients,” researchers explained.

The study findings “suggest that resting-state functional MR imaging can be used as an additional clinical tool for detecting subtle brain injury that is not apparent with conventional MR imaging,” according to researchers.

In the study, researchers compared 23 affected patients with post-traumatic symptoms within 2 months of injury and 18 age-matched healthy controls using resting-state functional MRI to map out energy expenditure across the brain while awake.

The mild brain injury group showed significantly decreased connectivity in the posterior portion, but increased connectivity in the anterior portion of the default-mode network compared with the controls.

The increased connectivity was seen primarily in the anterior medial prefrontal cortex region, while the decreased connectivity was primarily in the posterior medial cingulate cortex and parietal regions.

Cognition and symptoms appeared tied to these brain connectivity abnormalities. Poorer anterior medial prefrontal cortex connectivity correlated with a higher degree of clinical symptoms, including anxiety, depression, fatigue, and post-concussive symptoms.

Therefore, the increased connectivity seen overall in that region may reflect a compensatory mechanism in TBI, the researchers explained.

Experts in neurosurgery New Jersey noted the limited scope of the study in not looking at functional connectivity in other networks in the brain. Also, the difference between patients and controls didn’t reach statistical significance with one of the analysis methods, which may have been due to the relatively small sample size, but still requires some caution in interpretation.

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Posted By Health News Watch
November 21, 2012

donor eggsThe occurrence of genetic mitochondrial disease in children could be reduced with a new technique using three-parent donor eggs through in vitro fertilization (IVF). The method, recently developed by researchers in the United Kingdom, uses genetic material from three people to reduce mitochondrial diseases that can be passed on to children from genetic mutations in their mother’s DNA.

The genetic mutations can cause diseases and birth defects. Although genetic mitochondrial diseases are rare, they are incurable. Approximately one in six thousand to one in ten thousand children are born with a mitochondrial disease that may affect their heart and could lead to a loss in vision and/or hearing, seizures, and digestive problems.

The three-parent IVF procedure creates a fertilized embryo from the DNA of a mother whose DNA has genetic mutations, a father, and a female egg donor who is not a carrier for mitochondrial diseases. The nucleus of the egg from the affected mother is replaced with healthy genetic material from the donor egg– eliminating the possibility of mitochondrial mutations in the child. From there, the egg continues in the normal IVF cycle and becomes fertilized.

However, the method is creating a public stir since any child born from three-parent IVF would contain DNA from the donor as well as the mother and father. Although only less than 0.001 percent of the DNA would from the donor, and the majority of the genes would still come from the mother and father, the United Kingdom’s Human Fertility and Embryology Authority launched a campaign to gauge public opinion nonetheless.

If the results of the campaign are positive, then three-parent IVF can begin clinical human trials and the procedure may be available in an IVF center within the next five years.

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Catergories : Health Care tags : , , , , , ,
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Marie
 
Posted By Marie
November 15, 2012

Center for Human ReproductionNovember 15, 2012 (New York, NY) – Direct perfusion of the endometrial cavity with granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) improves the thickness of the endometrial lining in IVF patients with too thin endometrium even after treatments, according to a new study just published online in the medical journal Human Reproduction(1).

In the study, 21 women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles at the Center for Human Reproduction (CHR) in New York City successfully expanded their initially inadequate endometrium after uterine perfusion with G-CSF. Specifically, in the 5 days between G-CSF perfusions and embryo transfers, patients increased their endometrial thickness from 6.4 ± 1.4 mm to 9.3 ± 2.1 mm. The result offers confirmatory evidence to an earlier, smaller report by the same research group on the positive effects of G-CSF on IVF patients with treatment-resistant, thin endometrium.

In natural menstrual cycles, endometrium develops on its own in preparation for embryo implantation. In IVF cycles, endometrium of at least 7 mm at the time of embryo transfer is considered necessary to achieve superior pregnancy rates. When endometrium is too thin and does not respond to conventional treatments, embryo transfer is often cancelled and embryos are frozen for transfer in a later cycle.

“Treatment-resistant thin endometrium is a fortunately rare, but frustrating, problem in IVF,” explains Norbert Gleicher, MD, Medical Director and Chief Scientist of CHR, the lead author of the study. “Affected patients, until now, at minimum, faced treatment delays and, not infrequently, if their endometrium could not be improved even in subsequent cycles, had no choice but to use a gestational carrier (surrogate).”

David H Barad, MD, MS, Director of Clinical ART and Senior Scientist at CHR, and another senior author of the study, adds: “This is why when in 2011 we reported our initial four cases in the literature, patients and colleagues took notice. One can still transfer embryos into the uterus with endometrial thickness under 7mm, but pregnancy chances will be very low. G-CSF perfusions really offer affected patients the opportunity to drastically improve IVF pregnancy chances.”

1Gleicher N et al. A pilot cohort study of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor in the treatment of unresponsive thin endometrium resistant to standard therapies. Hum Reprod 2012; (http://humrep.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2012/10/17/humrep.des370.abstract)

 

About Center for Human Reproduction (CHR)
Located in New York City, CHR (
http://www.centerforhumanreprod.com/) is a leading clinical fertility and research center in the world, having contributed many important innovations to the treatment of infertility. As “fertility center of last resort,” CHR treats patients worldwide, with, during 2011, over half coming from outside the New York tri-state area, approximately a quarter from overseas. Drs. Gleicher and Barad are available for further comments.

 

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Catergories : Health Care, Infertility, OB/GYN, Womens Health tags : ,
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Posted By Amanda Guerrero
November 14, 2012

Healthcare revenue cycle starts at check-inThe success of your practice’s medical accounts receivable doesn’t just depend on how well your employees do their jobs, especially if patients refuse to pay due to misunderstandings over insurance coverage or financial responsibility. This can be avoided, however, by helping patients understand insurance basics, as well as what their role is in the healthcare revenue cycle process. Here are a few ways that healthcare professionals can make that happen.

Provide patients with an up-to-date financial policy. This is the first step to helping patients understand what their financial obligation is when receiving services at your practice. After all, informed patients are less likely to be surprised about out-of-pocket expenses and more likely to pay what they owe. A few important things to include in the policy include information about time-of-service payment, patient responsibility, and accepted health insurances. In order to make this information readily available to patients we suggest:

  • Posting the policy on your practice’s website
  • Informing patients of the policy when scheduling an appointment
  • Requiring patients to verify that they have read the policy before services are rendered

Be prepared to answer questions about insurance eligibility and coverage. Your staff is not responsible for explaining insurance coverage to patients; however, that doesn’t mean that patients will refrain from asking about it. One way to help patients understand insurance and healthcare revenue cycle basics, without taking up too much of your employees’ time, is by putting together a one-page document with commonly used terms, such as: coordination of benefits, co-payment, deductible, and allowance. You can make this information available on your website and online patient portal, and have paper copies available to give to patients upon request.

Have you tried other tactics that have benefited your practice’s medical accounts receivable? Share them with us.

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Marie
 
Posted By Marie
October 24, 2012

New evidence about the FMR1 gene and ovarian agingOctober 23, 2012 (New York, NY) – A new study presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) in San Diego, CA, offers further evidence that the fragile X mental retardation 1 gene (FMR1 gene) may play an important role in controlling  women’s fertility life cycles.

The study, conducted by researchers from the Center for Human Reproduction (CHR), a leading fertility center in New York City, and the Medical University of Vienna in Austria, compared the age of menarche (start of menstruation) and the number of CGG tri-nucleotide repeats on the FMR1 gene. Among the 222 women studied, a significant relationship was identified between the age of menarche and CGG counts. Specifically, women with at least one FMR1 allele with CGG counts higher than 34 were more likely to reach menarche after age 13 compared to women with CGG counts on both FMR1 alleles below 34.

The FMR1 gene has long been associated with neuro-psychiatric conditions, but only in recent years it has been shown to have controlling effects on women’s ovarian function. While for neuro-psychiatric risks, the FMR1 gene is considered normal up to CGG repeats of 55, the CHR investigators defined CGG counts between 26 and 34 as normal (norm) in regards to ovarian function, with CGG counts higher than 34 being defined as high and those lower than 26 as low. In a number of prior publications, the same group demonstrated genotypes and sub-genotypes of the FMR1 gene to be statistically associated with different ovarian aging patterns and IVF pregnancy rates.

“This study revealed that women with at least one high FMR1 allele tend to start their reproductive life later than women with low or norm alleles,” explains Norbert Gleicher, MD, Medical Director and Chief Scientists of CHR. “The finding further strengthens our hypothesis that the FMR1 gene has a significant influence on how a woman’s ovaries reach maturity, and then decline with age, defining her reproductive life cycle over her lifetime.”

Further studies are needed to better define how to predict a woman’s reproductive potential as she moves through life, based on FMR1 genotypes and sub-genotypes. Currently, prediction of female reproductive potential is difficult, and often impossible. Utilization of FMR1 genotypes and sub-genotypes may potentially open up new opportunities.

About Center for Human Reproduction
The Center for Human Reproduction (CHR, http://www.centerforhumanreprod.com/), located in New York City, is one of the world’s leading fertility centers. Because of its worldwide reputation as “fertility center of last resort,” CHR has a worldwide patient following among women with DOR, whether due to advanced age, or due to premature ovarian aging (POA). Dr. Gleicher is available for further comments.

Contact:
Communications Manager
Center for Human Reproduction
212-994-4400 x.4491

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Posted By Amanda Guerrero
October 3, 2012

Check mark - medical collections tipsWhether it is working with a medical collection agency or carrying out billing efforts in-house, healthcare professionals know that collection calls are crucial to the stability of their organizations’ accounts receivables. This is because, in order for a medical business to stay afloat, physicians must get paid for services rendered. Making collection calls, however, can be daunting for inadequately trained collectors. By following these tips from experienced healthcare debt collection professionals, employees will be able to feel at ease dialing patients and can successfully collect on past due accounts.

  1. Make sure you are talking to the right person: The first and most important step when making a collection call is verifying that the person you are speaking to is authorized on the account. To confirm that you are speaking to the correct person, ask them to verify demographic information, such as address or date of birth.
  2. Let the patient know who you are and where you are calling from: As soon as you verify that you are talking to the correct person, identify yourself and let the patient know where you are calling from. It is important that the patient knows this from the get-go.
  3. Request that the patient pays their bill in full: Before you offer to negotiate a payment plan, inform the patient of the amount of money they owe, and ask them to pay their bill in full. Asking a question such as, “How will you be paying this today?” can be much more effective than, “How much are you able to pay?” At this time, you should also inform the patient of the different methods of payment that your organization accepts: “For your convenience, we accept checks and all major credit cards.”
  4. Take on the role of ‘problem solver’: A patient might offer excuses about whey they are unable to make payments; however, your job is not to focus on why the patient cannot pay. Instead, you should act as a problem solver and focus on what you can do to help the patient pay their debt. If you suggest a monthly payment, and the patient claims the amount is too steep, offer to help with budgeting and have them walk you through their monthly expenses. Reaching a compromise with the patient will be more beneficial to both parties than if you take an all-or-nothing stance.
  5. Make a note of what you and the patient discussed: Once you reach an agreement with the patient, ask them to repeat the specifics about when they plan to pay and how much. Let the patient know that you are documenting this information in your system. For example, “I am making a note that you will be making your first monthly payment on the 15th.” Not only will this information be stored in your system for future reference, but it reinforces to the patient that you will be expecting a payment from them on that date as promised.

For more healthcare debt collection tips and revenue cycle resources, visit www.arlogix.com.

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